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Author Topic: Using float charger  (Read 812 times)
Lin
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« on: April 08, 2011, 07:08:30 PM »

I just bought a Vector 1amp/2amp smart charger ($15.00 at Big Lots for anyone that cares).  It can attach to the batteries by clips or hard wire, but it also has a plug to charge through a 12v socket.  Using that socket could be convenient since I could connect and monitor it from inside the bus.  I have hooked it up that way and set it to charge at 1amp.  I was wondering if the fact that the socket is 10+ feet from the batteries would make any serious difference.   
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« Reply #1 on: April 08, 2011, 07:39:12 PM »

Lin, I have two of those little chargers-one connected to each of the start batteries (8D) and an outlet in the engine compartment that I plug them into whenever I'm sitting for awhile. I wouldn't think that with the little draw they have a ten foot run would be any problem. But I'm sure someone with more electrical knowledge will chime in soon. Will
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gus
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« Reply #2 on: April 08, 2011, 08:32:48 PM »

It isn't the socket so much as it is that the measly little 1amp has to work its way through all the long bus wiring to get to the battery.

If there is anything drawing current at all anywhere, very common, it could be completely overcome.

If you read the instructions it probably says to hook directly to the battery.

However, anything is possible so you need to put a voltmeter to the battery before hooking up the charger to the socket and then right after to see if there is any difference.

My disclaimer is that I'm no electrical expert, just a shade tree mechanic.

Some of the board experts will surely chime in here!
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« Reply #3 on: April 08, 2011, 08:42:49 PM »


If there is anything drawing current at all anywhere, very common, it could be completely overcome.

If you read the instructions it probably says to hook directly to the battery.


I believe I would want to connect straight to the batteries since I flip the Battery Cut-Off switch in the battery compartment when the bus isn't being driven. To allow for the current to get from the "plugin socket" to the batteries would require the Master Battery switch being left on all the time.

Jimmy
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« Reply #4 on: April 08, 2011, 10:19:35 PM »

Not an expert but keep in mind that if you have an electronic coach such as a ddec and even though you turn your main battery switch off, the batteries will likely still have a drain of sorts since the ecm is usually hard wired directly to the start batteries.
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Ace Rossi
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Lin
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« Reply #5 on: April 08, 2011, 11:15:40 PM »

I guess I can't claim this was a scientific test, but I think it points to a preference.  There is a bit of a voltage loss between the batteries and the socket.  When the charger was plugged into the socket, it was on, which means that it recognized the batteries as still needing some charge.  When I then connected the charger directly to the batteries, it turned off, which means it saw the batteries as being fully charged.  Hence, I guess that although it will probably work from the socket, it will be less efficient and be required to charge for a longer period.  I suppose I could leave it connected to the battery and just use a wireless remote switch if needed.  I have been using some of those for my block heater and the start batteries.
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